Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are known as HVAC. No matter where you live in the world, this will be a term that you frequently hear if you are involved in building structures or maintaining them. When it comes to keeping things comfortable in the home, few other inventions have been beneficial to humanity in indoor climates.
This article will help you understand the HVAC basics and some information about their inner workings, which should help with understanding why they work the way they do.
Heating and Cooling Systems
There are some standard heating and cooling systems that you should know. Every system has its price and uses. So, let’s take a look at the most common HVAC systems that we use.
The central system is the most common type of air conditioning and heating system. This system includes a furnace, an AC unit, ductwork, and vents where the air gets distributed throughout your home.
The advantage of this system is that it can heat and cool the entire home. The disadvantage is that it needs professional installation, so if you are not familiar with HVAC systems, it’s best to find a professional to do the job.
A heat pump is a combination of central heating and air conditioning systems. This system features one outdoor unit that provides both heating and cooling throughout the house. Hot water or electricity is used for heating while the cold air is conditioned and distributed via ductwork and vents throughout your home.
A furnace functions by blowing heated air via ducts that provide warm air to different areas of your house through grills or air registers. We call this kind of heating unit a forced warm-air or ducted warm-air distribution system. A furnace can work by natural gas, electricity, or fuel oil.
Air conditioners offer cool air to the entire home, and they require a powerful fan or blower to distribute it evenly throughout your house via ductwork and vents.
Essential HVAC Components
All types of HVAC systems need a compressor and condenser to work. The compressor circulates the refrigerant, and this is what cools down your indoor unit. When it gets hot outdoors, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air in your home or commercial building.
A condenser then rejects that heat outside through an exhaust system into the outdoors. Now let’s look at some essential parts of an HVAC system you should know about:
- Indoor Unit: The indoor unit has a blower, coil, and fan for blowing and circulating air throughout your home and ductwork to distribute it properly. The fan blows out hot air while the coil absorbs water and releases cold air into your home.
- Coil: Coils are from aluminum or copper tubing surrounded by the refrigerant. When the compressor circulates the refrigerant through the coils, the cooling process begins. It gives your home cool air to enjoy during warmer months.
- Blower: A blower works with a fan to circulate cool air so you can enjoy it in every room of your home. Without a blower, you would not have enough cool air coming into your house to keep it comfortable enough.
- Compressor: The compressor squeezes the refrigerant and sends it to your indoor unit’s coil. When the air passes over this coil, it cools down and gives your house a comfortable climate throughout the summer months.
- Condenser: The condenser takes heat from the hot compressed gas before it goes back to the compressor, which means you get warm outdoor air for your home or building to enjoy during warmer months of the year.
- Exhaust System: An exhaust system is made up of rigid metal ducting that releases hot air outdoors so you can have cooler indoor temperatures without having too high of electric bills for this to happen efficiently.
- Filter: A filter helps take out dirt particles in your home, so you don’t breathe in harmful things that make you sick.
- Inverter: Inverters are a reliable feature because they automatically change speeds according to need, saving you money on your electric bills when the AC is in use.
How Does an HVAC System Work?
Understanding how an HVAC system works starts with the different types of systems out there. We went over some basic facts about these systems, but let’s get down to the nitty-gritty on how these machines make your home comfortable all summer long.
When it comes to cooling down your home, you will need an indoor unit that has a blower fan and coil for absorbing moisture in incoming air so it can release cool air back into your house. Without this coil, your home would not have enough cool air to keep residents or workers feeling comfortable during warmer months of the year.
Most homes have ductwork built into their design that distributes this cool air throughout every room properly. If you are looking to improve airflow in certain parts of your house, you will need to make some minor changes like turning off the system and allowing the air to circulate back into the unit for a few minutes before turning it on.
Once your home or building has cooled down enough, your HVAC system will automatically shut off until hot air builds up again as temperatures outside cool down as well. This process happens throughout the day as needed—there’s no need to adjust any settings on your unit unless you want more airflow at certain times of day or night.
When it comes time to heat a space in the winter months, you will need an indoor unit with a fan and coil with a heating function. Most people have ductwork built directly into their design so warm air can get into their home or building without any problems.
Take the time to inspect your ducts for leaks and breaks to get the most heating power possible from your unit.
HVAC Basics – Conclusion
HVAC systems can vary depending on the type of system and heating or cooling it is to accommodate. Still, one thing is for sure—you will need a quality unit with quality parts to get your home comfortable all year long, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank when buying an air conditioner or heater.
This article is to introduce you to the HVAC basics. Most of us need a basic understanding of these systems before learning how to properly maintain our unit and keep it in good condition for years and years.